Anti-stress, glial-and neuro-differentiation potential of resveratrol: Characterization by cellular, biochemical and imaging assays

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Environmental stress, exhaustive industrialization and the use of chemicals in our daily lives contribute to increasing incidence of cancer and other pathologies. Although the cancer treatment has revolutionized in last 2–3 decades, shortcomings such as (i) extremely high cost of treatment, (ii) poor availability of drugs, (iii) severe side effects and (iv) emergence of drug resistance have prioritized the need of developing alternate natural, economic and welfare (NEW) therapeutics reagents. Identification and characterization of such anti-stress NEW drugs that not only limit the growth of cancer cells but also reprogram them to perform their specific functions are highly desired. We recruited rat glioma-and human neuroblastoma-based assays to explore such activities of resveratrol, a naturally occurring stilbenoid. We demonstrate that nontoxic doses of resveratrol protect cells against a variety of stresses that are largely involved in age-related brain pathologies. These included oxidative, DNA damage, metal toxicity, heat, hypoxia, and protein aggregation stresses. Furthermore, it caused differentiation of cells to functional astrocytes and neurons as characterized by the upregulation of their specific protein markers. These findings endorse multiple bioactivities of resveratrol and encourage them to be tested for their benefits in animal models and humans.



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